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(Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
New England Aster

Host Plant: Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) and Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta) caterpillars

Nectar Plant: Bumblebees, hoverflies, Monarch Butterflies, moths, and ants

Flower Color: Blue, purple, white, or pink that flower from August to October

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial that grows to 2-7 feet tall

Range in North America: All except northwestern North America

Exposure: Full to partial sun

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Soil Requirements: moist to medium moist clay soil and well-drained soil

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New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

Purple Flowers of New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae).

Mary Crickmore, CC0 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

New England American Aster

Description of New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial that has blue, white, to pink flowers in the late summer to fall until frost.  It is often found on roadsides alongside goldenrods (Solidago spp.) and forms a blue to yellow mosaic.

More information on New England Aster can be found on this blog post.

Hosted Species

Pearl Crescent (Phycoides tharos)

Pearl Crescent on a twig.
Pearl Crescent on Twig — ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Northern Crescent (Phycoides cocyta)

Northern Crescent butterfly on flower
Northern Crescent on Flower — Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nectar Species

This is an important nectar plant for many other insects in the late summer and fall.


This aster grows in open areas such as grasslands, meadows, streambanks, right-of-ways, and roadsides.

Range of New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) in the United States and Canada

Range map of New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) in the United States and Canada.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Symphyotrichum, refers to the coming together of the anthers (Missouri Botanical Garden).  This plant is one of the showiest and easily spotted plants on roadsides.

Native Location

British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8

Exposure Requirements

Full Sun, Part Shade/Part Sun

Plant Habit


Soil Requirements

Medium, Moist

Hosted Species

Phycoides cocyta (Northern Crescent), Phycoides tharos (Pearl Crescent)


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New England Aster”

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